The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists (www.CanadianHair.ca), a Toronto-based organization offering hair loss treatment for over 25 years, is commenting on a recent case where a woman was devastated by hair loss.
Writing in the Telegraph, Antonia Hoyle chronicled her experience with female hair loss, which began when she was only 37 years old. Hoyle says she was left devastated by the experience, frequently breaking down into tears and feeling “unattractive” and “old.” (Hoyle, A., “’Hair loss has made me feel unattractive and old,’” The Telegraph, March 28, 2016; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/wellbeing/health-advice/hair-loss-has-made-me-feel-unattractive-and-old/)
“Female hair loss is rarely talked about,” says Ken Robson, founder of the Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists. “When we think of balding, we think of men, but female hair loss is actually quite common too. This is an issue that’s really ignored, and it can leave women feeling even more ashamed and depressed.”
Roughly two-thirds of women experience hair loss at some point in their life. Despite how widespread the problem is, Hoyle says that one survey found nearly half of women hide their hair loss from even their closest partners out of shame and embarrassment.
“There’s this tendency to think of hair loss as not a big deal, but it can be devastating for men and women,” says Robson. “Particularly for women, hair loss is just considered something that’s not supposed to happen. When it does occur, it can really be a traumatic event.”
Hoyle says that she tried covering her baldness using different types of hairstyles, but none of them worked. She was frequently reduced to tears, something which is quite common, according to an expert she spoke with for her article.
“The problem with trying to change your hair to cover up your hair loss is that it only works for a little bit,” says Robson. “If you start to lose more hair, then that option isn’t going to work for long. It’s more effective to try to treat your hair loss as soon as possible.”
Within the past few months, Hoyle has taken steps to fight her hair loss. These have included castor oil scalp massages, vitamin D supplementation, and other supplements intended to boost hair growth, although she has yet to see any results.
“It’s important to take a targeted approach,” notes Robson. “Using vitamins may not be enough. There are topical shampoo and conditioner treatments that are designed to help combat hair loss, and you may see more effect from these. Eating more vegetables probably won’t have a huge effect in most cases.”
Hoyle’s hair loss was diagnosed as female pattern hair loss, which is a genetic type of hair loss that is notoriously difficult to treat. It can affect any women at any age, although it often occurs around menopause.
“With male pattern hair loss, we can effectively cure that nowadays using hair transplants,” says Robson. “Female pattern hair loss is more difficult to treat, because the hair loss usually occurs over the entire scalp, in a diffuse pattern. This is much more difficult to treat.”
Hoyle’s hope is that female hair loss is discussed more openly so that it loses some of its stigma. As of now, she’s not sure whether her hair loss treatments are working but expects to be able to evaluate in a few months’ time.
“Because female pattern hair loss is so difficult, it’s important to see a hair loss specialist,” says Robson. “You really need to take a smart approach to dealing with this problem. If you wait too long or waste time on poor treatments, you could end up going even balder.”
The Canadian Institute of Hair and Scalp Specialists is the leading provider of treatment for hair loss. They offer their clients a number of options, ranging from hair transplant surgery to topical hair treatments.